Halle Berry, an actress who could definitely kick my ass, will make her directorial debut with a film about professional ass-kickers, Bruised. Variety reports that the Oscar-winning actress will direct the mixed martial arts drama from a script by Michelle Rosenfarb, with Thunder Road Pictures’ Basil Iwanyk (Sicario), Entertainment 360, and Linda Gottlieb (Dirty Dancing) attached to produce.
The movie sounds a bit like a mix of The Wrestler and Rocky Balboa set inside an MMA octagon, with a disgraced fighter juggling an upcoming fight with an up-and-coming superstar with the return of her six-year-old son “to the mother he deserves.” Bruised is currently set to begin production in March.
The most intriguing news out of all this is that Berry will reportedly work with the same fight coordination team that designs the throwdowns for the John Wick films. Those movies—filled with beautifully choreographed bits of ultra-violence—transformed a 50-year-old Keanu Reeves back into a thug-slaughtering action badass and the rapper Common into a believable knife-wielding war machine. They know a good tussle, is what I’m saying, and it’ll be interesting to see how a more down-to-Earth drama melds with what are sure to be some frantic, frenetic fight sequences. It doesn’t hurt that Berry is an absolute Hollywood veteran, breaking into the business on the 1989 series Living Dolls, making her screen debut in Spike Lee’s Jungle Fever, and winning an Oscar for Monster’s Ball along the way.
Berry is set to appear in the John Wick universe herself with next year’s trilogy-capper, John Wick: Parabellum, playing the role of an underground assassin named Sofia. At some point, Keanu Reeves is going commit murder on horseback. It’s gonna’ be a good time.